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Distended Neck Veins

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About a month ago, I was lying flat on my back and felt a pressure around my throat. When I put my hand to my neck, I could feel two swollen veins running from the hollow just above my clavicle to about mid-neck, perhaps a little closer to the jaw. Now, I haven't noticed this on myself in the past, which is what concerns me. I've been feeling a lot of pressure in my head and ears since November--not every day, but every so often. Claritin did seem to help this a bit, which of course lead me to believe that the head pressure was due to my cold at the time, subsequent sinusitis, and what I recently learned from my ENT are severe allergies. I've since been put on Nasonex.

But the pressure in the neck was new and perhaps is unrelated? I know swollen veins in the neck (most often the external jugulars?) can be a sign of right-sided heart failure or problems. I have indeed been having heart palpitations for about 5 months now, but both a Holter Monitor and Echocardiogram showed only the occasional (though I often feel it more often that it seemed to show on the monitor) PVC and a trace murmur that is benign. I was told there were no problems with the structure of my heart. The veins are most visible when I'm completely flat, in a supine position. When I begin to elevate my back and head with pillows, they disappear. I'd say at around a 45 degree angle, they begin to lose the swelling. I can also see a pulse on both sides that is on the offbeat of my carotid artery.

Any thoughts would be welcome!! Thank you.
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replied February 19th, 2009
to add
I'm a 25-year-old female who is otherwise healthy. The last time my blood pressure was recorded, it was 117/77.
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